EastEnders’ Declan Bennett: ‘Charlie’s terrified of Nick turning up – and so he should be!’

EastEnders’ Declan Bennett tells Soaplife that Charlie’s fearing the worst with his dad, Nick Cotton, back in Walford…

The net is closing in on Charlie Cotton. Nasty Nick is alive – as we suspected – and he wants to see his dear old Ma, Dot, and his son. But Charlie’s Ma, Yvonne, thinks she and Charlie should run a mile from a family reunion. Nick’s trouble and Charlie’s already in plenty of trouble for impersonating a copper. But Charlie doesn’t want to leave Dot. “Dot greeted him with open arms and Charlie’s never had that before,” Declan says to Soaplife.

So Dot (June Brown) is the reason Charlie’s still in Walford?
“Dot is a massive reason why he’s stayed. He’s finally got that family connection with somebody and Dot’s been an important part of Charlie’s journey.”

Why did Charlie pose as a policeman?
“That’s Nick’s influence. It’s hard because Charlie’s doing something for Nick, who he loves, but he also wants to push him away.”

What happen when DC Emma Summerhayes (Anna Acton) tries to arrest him for impersonating a policeman?
“Charlie’s quite good at navigating his way around certain situations and he knows he can handle Max and Emma. He’s very good at thinking on his feet.

Is he a chip off the old block?
“He’s half and half. There’s part of Nick Cotton inside him, but he’s spent a lifetime trying to suppress it. He doesn’t want to be that person.”

What does he think when Yvonne (Pauline McLynn) suggests they do a runner?
“Charlie would do anything for his mum, but now he’s reached a point where he’ll do anything for Dot, too. It boils down to battling between two strong females. They both want him in their lives. It’s a struggle to decide what to do.”

Is Charlie scared of Nick (John Altman)?
“Yes. He’s scared for himself and his mum. He’s scared for Dot – for everyone. He doesn’t know what the repercussions of Nick turning up will be. He’s terrified… and so he should be!”

Are there more secrets to come?
“Yes! What’s happening with Charlie now will have a knock-on effect and more things will come to light.”

EastEnders, BBC1. Click here for air dates.